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Qualcomm reportedly in talks to buy NXP for over $30B

A deal could be struck in the next two to three months, says a Wall Street Journal report.

Qualcomm is the world's biggest maker of wireless chips.
Claudia Cruz/CNET

Qualcomm is in talks to acquire fellow chipmaker NXP, according to a new report.

Qualcomm, the world's biggest maker of wireless chips, may strike a deal with NXP in the next two to three months, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The deal would likely be valued at over $30 billion, the publication said. The Journal, citing unnamed sources, warned that a deal could still fall through.

Spokespeople from both Qualcomm and NXP separately said their companies don't comment on rumors or speculation.

The semiconductor industry has been consolidating quickly over the past couple of years. NXP itself bought fellow chipmaker Freescale for about $11.8 billion in cash and stock in early 2015. Qualcomm has made acquisitions, as well, including Atheros, which makes Wi-Fi and other connectivity chips, for $3.1 billion in 2011.

Buying NXP would enable Qualcomm to sell more to its current customers, as well as give it a boost in new markets.

Qualcomm has long dominated the mobile chip market, but it's facing more competition from Asian rivals, as well as its own customers. Apple and Samsung, the two biggest companies in the phone industry, have opted to use their own processors in many of their devices, putting pressure on Qualcomm.

NXP makes microcontrollers, tiny processors that help run all kinds of devices, from appliances to energy meters to ultrasound equipment. The company is best known for its NFC wireless technology, which allows devices to connect to each other at close distances. Many smartphones now use this NXP technology to power their mobile payment systems like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.

Update at 2 p.m. PT with NXP declining to comment.